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Title: Towards an ancient Chinese-inspired theory of music education
Authors: Tan, Leonard Yuh Chaur
Keywords: Chinese philosophy
Philosophy of music education
Issue Date: 2016
Citation: Tan, L. (2016). Towards an ancient Chinese-inspired theory of music education. Music Education Research, 18(4), 399-410.
Abstract: In this philosophical paper, I propose a theory of music education inspired by ancient Chinese philosophy. In particular, I draw on five classical Chinese philosophical texts: the Analects (lunyu 論語), the Mencius (Mengzi 孟子), the Zhuangzi (庄子), the Xunzi (荀子) and the Yue Ji (樂記). Given that music education was an integral part of the social fabric in ancient China, it is potentially illuminating to uncover the theoretical underpinning of this enterprise, and to examine the implications of such a theory for contemporary music education. Based on the texts, I posit an ancient Chinese-inspired theory of music education that comprises four facets: society, teacher-model, effortful training and effortless action. I conclude this paper with implications for contemporary music education.
Description: This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Music Education Research. The published version is available online at
ISSN: 1461-3808 (print)
1469-9893 (online)
Other Identifiers: 10.1080/14613808.2015.1122751
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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